Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Advances in Mobile Device Enabling Technologies

Mainstream Wi-Fi adoption and usage has changed over the last few years on mobile devices. In fact, almost every new smartphone will offer some form of Wi-Fi capabilities -- with the encouragement and approval of the mobile network service providers.

However, a new Wi-Fi protocol will begin to dominate mobile devices soon. According to the latest market study by ABI Research, the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol will begin to conquer the existing protocols (802.11b, g, and n) in the next two to three years.

"The Wi-Fi 802.11ac protocol offers several advantages over the current and most commonly used 802.11n protocol," said Josh Flood, senior analyst at ABI Research.

The wireless connection speed will be quicker -- the new protocol also offers better range and improved reliability, and superior power consumption. It's also capable of multiple 2X2 streams and should be particularly good for gaming experiences and HD video streaming on mobile devices.

A similar scenario occurred with Bluetooth technologies for mobile devices. Sixty-five percent of mobile devices will incorporate Bluetooth generation 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 in 2012. Mobile devices (mostly smartphones) with Bluetooth Smart Ready (generation 4.0) were introduced in 2011.

Although Bluetooth Smart Ready range remains the same as past generations (up to 100 meters) and data throughout is similar to Bluetooth generation 3.0 (26Mbps), Bluetooth Smart Ready is far more energy efficient.

It will extend the possible usage of the technology by a factor of five to ten times, depending on the user behavior. Within the next two years, mobile devices with Bluetooth Smart Ready will surpass devices utilizing Bluetooth Classic.

The technical advancements in smartphone have been impressive. These super slim, relatively tiny devices now have the same processing power as a PC from only four to five years ago.

As such, the technology capabilities for mobile devices have come on in leaps and bounds. By 2014, almost four out of five smartphones will have NFC capabilities, four out of ten will have facial recognition capabilities, and over one in ten devices will operate by gestures.

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